I, Scott Moser, wist to apply for CoreDev, with additional membership in ~server-dev and MOTU


Scott Moser

Launchpad Page

Wiki Page


Who I am

I'm Scott Moser, a member of the Ubuntu Server team. I've personally in charge of building, publishing and maintaining the Official Ubuntu images for EC2 and for UEC (now 'Ubuntu Cloud) for the past 2 years. Along with the rest of the Ubuntu Server team, I help to make Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Cloud great.

My Ubuntu story

I began using Ubuntu around the Warty time frame. Prior to that I had used Debian since around 2001 and other Linux distributions starting with Slackware in 1995. When Ubuntu appeared, I was in the same boat as many others. I loved using Debian. However, due to the long release cycle I wasn't ever satisfied with the 'stable', but wasn't so interested in keeping an 'unstable' system working. Ubuntu's 6 month stable release cycle was a perfect fit.

I remember a conversation with Manoj Iyer where I introduced him to Ubuntu after I had previously gotten him hooked on Debian. He was complaining about his custom kernels not functioning perfectly with his Thinkpad. I asked him why he wanted to spend his days maintaining a custom kernel, and told him that these guys (handing him a Warty CD) had people that did that for me. My persuasion half worked, Manoj was converted to Ubuntu, but still spends time maintaining a kernel (He's on the Ubuntu Kernel Team now).

The single greatest thing about Ubuntu is that virtually nothing is closed. If I'm working on a package that isn't interacting well with another, or just want to see how something works, I can dig into that package with a simple 'bzr branch lp:ubuntu/package' (DistributedDevelopment rocks)

My involvement

I became involved in the development of Ubuntu in August of 2009. Since then, I've loved working with other Ubuntu developers and contributing to making Ubuntu better. I've enjoyed greatly the 1x1 interactions with other developers, both face to face and IRC where I learn from them and occasionally share knowledge.

I've participated as a session leader in 2 different Ubuntu Developer Weeks.

Examples of my work / Things I'm proud of

  • I backported support for our using "pv-grub" kernels on EC2 to 10.04. This allows the guest to apply kernel updates with a reboot (prior to July 2010 that was not possible).
  • cloud-init: As upstream developer and Ubuntu maintainer, I'm proud of cloud-init, and its acceptance and popularity in EC2 and EC2 like systems.
  • Developed 2 different mechanisms in Ubuntu Cloud for applying kernel upgrades to running instances:
    • grub loader floppy: 611144, present in 10.10 and since.

    • kexec loader (supports 10.04 and EBS-root like behavior)

  • Reduced execution time of byobu startup and status scripts in Oneiric. End result was a ~65% reduction in startup time of byobu.
  • UEC in Lucid. Because of my efforts and those of the rest of the Ubuntu Server team, UEC is much more functional, stable and usable than it was in Jaunty. Some things I've contributed to this are end-user fixes and tools (uec-publish-tarball, uec-publish-image) for making usage easier.

Areas of work

My biggest claim to fame is definitely maintaining the UEC images. I've helped to make the "Official Ubuntu Images" the best and easiest choice for an instance on ec2.

Since beginning work with Ubuntu in 9.10, I've increased my contribution each release. I've worked primarily on core packages to UbuntuServer, and most specifically those that are related to "Ubuntu Cloud". I've recently been making a larger effort to branch out and help with larger Ubuntu maintenance and development. I run Ubuntu+1 on my primary development system and make an effort to make quality bug reports during the development cycle to help other Ubuntu teams. When applicable I report bugs to debian.

Other Areas of Work

  • awstrial is the code that runs behind It allows users to "test drive" a Ubuntu Server installation in about 3 minutes at no cost to them. We also did work towards supporting desktop version of the same, utilizing NX technology. That did not move past a small scale public beta prior to 11.04 release.

  • participated in testing and ISO tracker usage in every alpha, beta and release since 9.10

EC2/UEC Images And Ubuntu Cloud

Bugs Raised to Debian



New Packaging

I did the initial packaging of the following new Ubuntu packages:

Cloud-init and friends

  • I'm the primary upstream developer of cloud-init. Ubuntu is the primary target for development, and this has been present in 10.04 and onwards.

  • I added package cloud-initramfs-tools which provides 2 initramfs modules, cloud-initramfs-rescuevol and cloud-initramfs-growroot

PPAs maintained

Things I have Touched

Things I could do better

I'm often easily distracted. Running an open source operating system in development does not help the condition described at here.

Additionally, procrastination is a problem. I've done a better job recently getting used to what can be accomplisedh in a 6 month release cycle, and attempting to not bite off more than can reasonably be done.

Plans for the future


In addition to being a member of CoreDev, I hope to continue making Ubuntu server the obvious choice for cloud computing or server-computing in general.

What I like least in Ubuntu

I believe there is a real problem with people triaging bugs with the primary goal of moving them out of the "new queue". This manifests itself when a triager is not willing to put in the time to attempt to reproduce a bug even if it is trivial, and asks a unimportant question of the reporter and then moves the bug to "Incomplete". They've been successfull in reducing the un-triaged bugs, and even the open bugs, but have quite likely upset someone who took time to create a good bug report. This has happened to me, I've seen it happen to others, and I am probably guilty of it.

I've recently been focusing on merging packages from Debian. In this, I've come to 2 conclusions:

  • Many times Ubuntu developers take the short term path and do not attempt to get changes into debian, and thus only ever increase our delta.
  • UDD is really wonderful, when it works. Hopefully the places where it doesn't can be reduced (quilt v3.0 and import failures).


If you'd like to comment, but are not the applicant or a sponsor, do it here. Don't forget to sign with @SIG@.


As a sponsor, just copy the template below, fill it out and add it to this section.


I have worked a little bit with Scott on various Bazaar and Ubuntu bugs, and found him knowledgeable, constructive, and fun to work with. +1.


General feedback

There are people that fast-track their way up the Ubuntu development hierarchy, and some others that take their time way too much. Scott definitely belongs to the latter category: everyone assumes he already is a coredev Smile :) Working on a specific full distribution media (the cloud images) makes him touch most of the core foundational packages of Ubuntu, and potentially any other, as evidenced by the package list he mentions. Scott has more experience in those central packages than most of the core developers I know: his productivity, and Ubuntu in general would greatly benefit from him getting core dev rights.

Specific Experiences of working together

I sponsored quite a few uploads from Scott in previous cycles, the work was always to the point and never needed improvements or second thoughts.

Areas of Improvement

As he points out, Scott got better in organizing his work time and delivering on what he promises to do. In all cases, that doesn't affect the quality of his Ubuntu work, quite the contrary: he was usually late because he is a perfectionist and wouldn't commit half-baked work Smile :)


General feedback

I've worked on quite a few patches and packages that Scott has worked on. His analysis of issues are always spot on, and his attention to detail gets things done the right way without resorting to hacks and shortcuts. I think Scott would make a great addition to the core-dev team.

Specific Experiences of working together

One of the packages he asked me to sponsor was during one of his patch piloting sessions. It contained a patch that had been contributed that fixed a FTBFS. I discovered by accident that the patch wasn't the best way to fix the issue, and let him know. He was extremely open to criticism and decided to fix the FTBFS the right way, even though it meant diving into the subtleties of the build process and its interaction with multi-arch. This is the kind of behaviour that makes me recommend him for core dev.


General feedback

I've not sponsored many of Scott's packages, having only been a core dev myself for a couple of months. However, I have been working with him for over a year now, and see only the highest quality output from Scott. His contributions to Ubuntu's presence on Amazon EC2 are monumental; we would not be where we are in the cloud without Scott.

Specific Experiences of working together

* Scott and I worked to improve the EC2 user experience for Ubuntu users by adding some enhancements to the uec-run-instances command. Scott's guidance while I got familiar with cloud-init and our EC2 images were invaluable.

* I have reported numerous bugs in cloud-init, which Scott has been very responsive to, and fixed rapidly.

* Most recently, Scott and I worked in parallel to build a prototype adapter for Ensemble to drive Ubuntu Orchestra. While I think I had the more interesting piece of work to do, Scott was quite disciplined in completing his side of the work , which has probably turned out to be the more valuable piece for ongoing development.

Areas of Improvement

Scott is naturally pessimistic, which is, I think, why much of his work is quite robust. That is not something to change. However, Scott could improve the way in which he communicates this pessimism to other developers. I believe he is quite aware of how sometimes his responses can be negative in nature, and usually points it out himself.


General feedback

Scott is an awesome developer and a kickass team member that is very deserving of full Ubuntu CoreDev, MOTU, and Server upload privileges. I trust him implicit to make correct decisions with respect to code changes in Ubuntu, and for him to ask questions when unsure.

Specific Experiences of working together

I've worked extensively with Scott on dozens of packages, having sponsored many of his early uploads to Ubuntu. We've hacked on tons of tools together, and in particular, I always appreciate Scott's code review of anything I write in Bash or Shell, as he has considerable expertise optimizing Shell code. I've specifically merged or worked with his valuable contributions to: ssh-import-id, bikeshed, errno, uec-provisioning, byobu, awstrial, cobbler, orchestra (among others).

Areas of Improvement

Heh, well, as Clint noted, Scott can be a little pessimistic by nature, but also like Clint, that's not something I'd change about Scott. It would be nice if he more often turned his critiques directly into opportunities for improvement, as ultimately, that's what they turn out to be.

AndresRodriguez (RoAkSoAx)

General feedback

@-- andreserl 2011-07-26 21:07:57@

I have sponsored quite a few packages for Scott and overall, I've been very happy with his work. Sometimes, there were minor mistakes, mainly related to quilt source format, but he's always been open to suggestions and he fixed them right a way. I think his skills in packaging have greatly improved and I believe he would be a great addition to the Core-dev team.

Specific Experiences of working together

We have worked together on a few cloud related things such as image publishing and cloud init for orchestra/ensemble integration, besides packaging of course. He has always been willing to help and teach people on how to to things and he's also always been open to learn from others and discuss things to provide solutions. His also put lots of hard work on getting things working, such as providing a cobbler-dev that allowed me to continue the work on orchestra/ensemble integration. I believe he is a great developer and someone we would definitely want in our core-dev team.

Jamie Strandboge (jdstrand)

General feedback

I've sponsored a few of Scott's uploads, reviewed several in my duties as archive admin and peer-reviewed code and design ideas for him. Scott's work is consistently of high quality and from what I can tell, he is very good at staying on top of issues and maintenance of his packages. It is clear to me that he cares about his work and Ubuntu, and is not afraid to ask questions if needed. I've also gotten to know Scott on a personal level after being his (non-technical) mentor for Canonical when he was first hired and then spending time with him at rallies and summits. He is a solid guy and I trust him with core-dev privileges.

Specific Experiences of working together

Most recently I reviewed NEW packages in Oneiric and they were fine and accepted without any issues. I also reviewed Scott's work with a recent, small libvirt patch for properly dealing with the kernel 3.0 version number. He initiated peer-review of his code with me and after resolving a small issue with libvirt's UDD branches being out of date, I reviewed his patch which he later submitted to libvirt upstream where it was accepted.

-- jdstrand 2011-07-29 14:56:45


General feedback

My primary area of working with Scott has been with the Michigan LoCo team. Since he moved into the area Scott has participated in nearly every local event, such as Global Jams, Release Parties, and special events. Scott does not only participate in the events but he regularly speaks on topics ranging from Cloud to Ubuntu Server, and is responsive to all manners of questions at these events.

-- jorge 2011-08-01 02:29:17


General feedback

I've worked with Scott on a number of different things, most notably Ubuntu's EC2 efforts. His list of activities above speaks a quite clear language, and I have no hesitation recommending him for core-dev.

-- soren 2011-08-01 12:34:55


=== General feedback ===
## Please fill us in on your shared experience. (How many packages did you sponsor? How would you judge the quality? How would you describe the improvements? Do you trust the applicant?)

=== Specific Experiences of working together ===
''Please add good examples of your work together, but also cases that could have handled better.''
=== Areas of Improvement ===

ScottMoser/DeveloperApplication (last edited 2011-08-01 12:35:26 by soren)